With Kevin Nisbet looking set to join Millwall, PLZ Soccer looks at five players that Hibs could look to sign both in the closing days of this January window and the summer, to replace the forward’s vital goals.
An agile forward with top flight experience, Bruce Anderson has a lot of similar qualities to the departing Nisbet. David Martindale has preferred the the 24-year-old to the highly rated Joel Nouble of late, highlighting how pivotal he has become to the impressive Lions side.
Coming through the ranks at Aberdeen, he struggled for game time after bursting on to the scene as a 19-year-old, scoring a last minute equaliser in against Rangers in Steven Gerrard’s first game as manager.
Since then loan spells at Elgin City, Dunfermline, Ayr United and Hamilton failed to yield a season where he hit double figures for goals.
In 2021 however, he was used as makeweight in a deal to take Jay Emmanuel Thomas to Aberdeen and inadvertently found a home at the Tony Macaroni.
In his first season, he had a strike rate of a goal every 2.6 games and began to discover some of the potential he showed early at Pittodrie. Still 6-months shy of turning 25, Anderson would represent a gamble but he certainly has time on his side to show he can make the step up again.
Akinyemi is undoubtedly one of the stars of the Scottish Championship this season scoring 15 times in 21 games for Ayr United.
The honest men have a stellar reputation of producing Premiership strikers, with both Nisbet and Hearts counterpart Lawrence Shankland honing their craft in Ayrshire before later making the step up divisions.
At 25, Akinyemi has had a chequered career so far turning out for no less than 12 teams. He has adapted well to life in Scotland though and it may we worth taking a risk on the frontman before another side inevitably beat them to the punch.
Another player who has lit up the Championship, Robinson has only recently returned to parent club Wimbledon after a fruitful spell at Dundee where he scored 7 goals in 16 games for Gary Bowyer’s side.
Whilst they would have to wait until the summer to snap him up, Robinson could be a the perfect long term target as Hibs look to rebuild their front line.
There is still plenty of room for improvement given that he is only 20, but a move permanently to Easter Road would be a dive into the deep end for a player who has already shown promise at Championship level and is seemingly on the upward trajectory of his career.
A name that is already familiar within Scottish football, Hardie came through the ranks at Rangers before spells at Raith Rovers and St Mirren.
After a successful period at Livingston, the striker earned a move to Blackpool before being loaned out to Plymouth, where he signed on permanently in 2021.
With 16 goals in his first full season in Devon, he was the club’s top goal scorer and is aiming for similar this campaign.
A Scotland u21 international, Hardie would offer flair as well as a presence at the top end of the park.
Still only 25, a move back North could provide a springboard higher up the English ladder or potentially into the thoughts of Steve Clarke, in the Scotland national team’s eternal search for goals.
The looming exit of Nisbet may be a catalyst for Hibs to look inwards, where a ready made replacement has been starring in an impressive under-18s side.
With a second name already synonymous with scoring in goals Leith, Josh O’Connor will be eager to follow in father Garry’s footsteps and lead the line for Lee Johnson’s men.
O’Connor has been a stand out as he progressed through the ranks and made his professional debut off the bench against Aberdeen in March 2022.
He would offer not only a budget option for the Premiership side, but may also galvanise the fans to get behind a youth product and capture the spirit of the early 2000’s when the green half of Edinburgh was built on solid foundations of academy graduates.